Written by Ingrid Rodriguez|
Pictures by Ingrid Rodriguez|
Here at The Morgan School, we have a class that teaches English. This class is different from a regular English class where students read The Great Gabsty. This is a class where students who speak and write in a language other than English learn how to speak and write in English.
This class is held in room A47, where English Language Learner teacher, Alina Gonzalez teaches her classes, every day from A period through C period. She became interested in teaching English when after graduating from college she wanted to learn Spanish since it is her ancestor’s language. After tutoring rich Guatemalans to learn English, as well as volunteering in schools for children, she fell in love with teaching. Ms. Gonzalez has been teaching at Morgan for 12 years. Altogether she has been a teacher for 17 years including her teaching experience in different countries.
Here at Morgan, she has 17 students. Senior Wendy Castaneda came here in April 2017. She is from Ecuador. Wendy stated that in her first day of school, “I was nervous but everything went well. I started to understand English in around 4 months. It is difficult until you learn. First, you have to show them with hand movements and things like that.” Sophomore, Samantha Arias came here in June of 2015, also from Ecuador. She said, “On my first day of school since I didn’t understand English, I got off in the wrong school. It was really embarrassing, but there are always people willing to help you out.”
I asked them which language is easier, English or Spanish. Some of them obviously said Spanish, but others said English. In my opinion, I think English is easier because Spanish we already know, and English has many different words that are similar but mean different things.
I was part of this program since 5th grade in Pierson. I came here in December 2011 and for me, it took at least 6 months to begin speaking English. It is difficult coming from another place where you grow up and switching to another place where you don’t even speak the language. I am grateful to Ms.Gonzalez who helped through my years in Eliot and Morgan. Without her help and the help of my peers and teachers I wouldn’t be able to be who I am today, a successful bilingual student.